Wednesday, September 29, 2010

All about me

Thanks to No Baby Ruth for tagging me!

1) What is your dream occupation?

This is a hard one. I don't know if I have a "dream" job. While I was in grad school and planning my wedding, I thought "if this whole PhD thing doesn't work out, I should be a wedding planner." Now my fantasy is to open a shop about my favorite things: cupcakes, coffee, and crochet. It would be part coffee house, part yarn store, and part bakery. But given that I am not the most outgoing person, I don't think retail is for me. I guess I will stick to research.

(2) What is the best dish that you can cook?

My signature dish is an apple pie. I also really like my lasagne. And I love making cupcakes.

(3) Have you ever been mentioned in the newspaper? What for?

In high school I had a starring role in a school play. More recently, I have been quoted a couple of times about research in my area.

(4) What’s the worst and/or most memorable job you’ve ever had?

I've not really had bad jobs, but a few memorable ones. I went to a prestigious college for undergrad and had a job opening the university president's mail. He had some very interesting mail. I also worked at an internet company way back when internet companies were still new. I won't say which one, but will give a hint that registered voters in California may be interested in my experience there.

(5) When you were a teenager, at what age did you envision yourself getting married? How old were you in reality when you got married?

I don't remember thinking of a specific age when I was that young. I do remember I went off to grad school the same year my younger sister graduated high school and started undergrad. She is Mormon and I remember asking her if she planned on going on a mission. She said she only would if she wasn't married by the time she graduated. I was shocked by that b/c here I was several years older and the thought that I may be married in the same time frame was not on my radar screen. But yet, 4 years later I was.

(6) What’s your most hated household chore? What’s your favorite?

I hate doing the dishes. I don't even like loading or unloading the dishwasher. I do like dusting and vacuuming is not so bad.

(7) What’s your earliest memory?

My older sister and I used to wake up really early in the morning, eat an entire bar of cream cheese, and then go back to bed like nothing happened. And my house was broken into when I was very young. My Big Bird piggy bank was stolen, but the dollar bill that was inside it was left behind because we lost the stopper.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Remember my book club friend who can't stop talking about her baby? Well now she is pregnant and can't stop talking about that either. But now I realize how totally clueless she is. Another member of the book is also pregnant, expecting twins (through IVF). She was not there tonight, but came up in conversation in a way that made it seem like this first woman was also expecting twins. Her reply, "no, I like them one at a time." I would have been fine with that, but then she went on to reveal that her sister is struggling with infertility and would gladly take twins if she could. WTF? This woman who drives me crazy with her baby talk has an infertile sister? Does she have no clue what her sister is going through?

Ugh. I told my hubby as soon as I came home and he reminded me to think of her sister. Can you imagine what it is like to be her sister and hear about this all the time?

In other news, I'm worried about having enough meds for Thursday. I had a really busy day and forgot to order more and since my dose was increased, I am currently set to be half a vial short on Thursday. I'm not sure if they have one day shipping or not. Oops.

Monday, September 27, 2010


I had my first monitoring appointment of this cycle. No follicles above 10 on either side. She did have some trouble finding one of my ovaries, so I'm not sure what that was about. My dosage is going up to 150 and I go back on Friday.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Farm visit

I've mentioned before that we joined a CSA this year. The farm from which we get our produce invited us all to visit this past Saturday. A neighboring farm also has a sorghum mill and invited us, so it made a nice day trip. We took our niece and nephew, ages 8 and 3 with us while their parents stayed behind and took the older children to various soccer tournaments. My nephew had never been to a farm before and has never seen many farm animals in person (or at least he can't remember ever seeing them). So he was quite excited to see the horses up close and cows from further away.

This is a Mennonite farm, so there was no electricity. We made sure the kids understood how the mill worked, from watching the horse drawn mill grind the cane and following the liquid through each step until we tasted sorghum on fresh biscuits at the end. They seemed to have fun. At the end while we were eating the biscuits, a young Mennonite woman was talking to me and then asked if these were my daughters. I smiled and said they were my niece and nephew. But inside I had two thoughts. First, I know my nephew has very curly hair, but he does not look feminine at all. Second, I wondered if this is how it would be once we had children, either by getting pregnant or adopting. My niece and nephew look like me to some extent since they are blood relatives. But they are mixed race so the resemblance is not obvious at first glance. I love my nieces and nephews immensely, but obviously they are not my children. But it seemed so natural to have them along and have others assume we are a family.

Today was also a long day. I was out by 7 to volunteer at a Habitat for Humanity build. Fun but very tiring. I'm going to bed early tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Well, AF is here for sure. I had my baseline monitoring today and there is a small cyst, but not big enough to stop the cycle. My initial dose is doubling from the last cycle and my next appointment is on Monday.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Shopping therapy

There has been more spotting, some red, but no real flow. This is normal pre-AF stuff for me, so I am calling it done now.

We went for some shopping therapy today to make me feel better. I found some great outfits at AT Loft and some things that are different from what I normally wear, but look great. So I'm pretty excited to wear them. Now if only the weather would cooperate and realize it is no longer summer. We are expecting another week of 90 degrees and above.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Well, spotting has started. So I'm thinking this is it for this this round. Going to order more meds. I'm OK I guess.

Friday, September 17, 2010


My brother who is getting married in late May has decided to semi-elope. What this means is that they found a resort on a Miami beach that has a wedding package that they will do. The immediate family is tagging along. After the wedding, my other siblings and my dad and stepmom are going to D1sney. They invited hubby and I to join them.

Ideally, this cycle works (or the next one) and I will be having a baby in late May (or thereabouts) so we would have a great excuse to not go. In that case, we will show up for just the wedding either being really pregnant or with a newborn.

But there is always the other case. I am not sure what to do. First, before the D1sney trip came into the picture, hubby and I thought it would be fun to spend a few extra days in Miami because we've never been there. But then I feel this guilt to spend more time with family I don't see often. So I think we should go. And then I think how depressed I will feel walking around that park seeing all the other cute little kids and being reminded that we don't have our own cute little kid to bring here. And then to be paying big bucks to do it (b/c let's face, that place isn't cheap).

I'm trying to delay the decision as much as possible, but now they keep bringing it up with greater frequency.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


9dpIUI. So I'm just in waiting stage now. I gave myself another HCG shot on the 12th, so I'm instructed not to test until the 24th (17dpIUI). I have been busy with work and don't think about it most days. Plus I've never been big on testing early. But I am tempted to test now just to see the two lines come up due to the HCG.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


I have this co-worker who is great to work with in many ways. One, if I happen to sit next to her during a meeting or presentation, she is constantly whispering side comments to me. Now, one or two is reasonable, but sometimes I feel like I can't concentrate on what the main discussion is because she keeps whispering something to me. It has gotten to the point where I try to sit by someone else, even though one on one she is normally great to talk to.

There is one topic that she brings up one on one that I don't like. My reproductive status. Those who have been following me from the beginning may remember our airport encounter when she suggested I get busy on the babymaking front now since my husband works at home and it would be oh-so-convenient. During our staff meeting today, there were announcements about major new projects going on, one of which I have a major role on. It is a five year project. This co-worker (who came in after me and took the seat next to mine) leans over and whispers that if I had a baby now, it would be 4 when the project was over. WTF? No one was even talking about babies or children, but she just decides to bring up this topic now!?

Monday, September 13, 2010


I recently hired my first person and she started today. I just want to say I never realized how hard it is to hire someone! New respect for HR folks over here. But I do have to say, it's only been one day of my new assistant and she is terrific! She has some things to learn, but already is catching on and figuring out where she needs to go when she needs help.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

How can we get that back?

Last year I wrote down what I experienced on 9/11 while living in DC. That post focused on the day itself, but what I also remember is how the country and my community came together afterward. Half my office went to the Red Cross the next day to donate blood, and the long lines indicated that most of city did as well. That's just one example of the unity that everyone felt in the wake of 9/11. It was not New York or DC under attack, but the entire country. And we were ready to put aside differences to work together.

How have we traveled so far from that sense of unity as a country?

I ask that not just to point out that I think there is a lot of division, anger, and fear in our country now. I mean, that day of all days you would think the feeling of fear would be understandable. But that is not the feeling we remember or associate with that day. Fear and anger is not how we responded as a nation. It was unity and resiliency. But fear and anger do seem to be a driving force in our current political climate. So I ask this not just to point fingers at "those people over there" who are stoking fear, anger, and division, but also to look inward to see if my actions or words have contributed to this? What role can I play in returning us to unity, hope, and resiliency?

Friday, September 10, 2010


I'm not sure if you heard of this news story. A recent study found that women are more likely to buy sexy clothing when we are ovulating. I'm not sure how most people react when reading stories about weird studies like these, but I'm a researcher, so I wonder who funds this research? I mean, here I am doing work on important public policy related areas and searching for money to support it, and then someone comes along and funds a study about when women buy sexy clothing?

As it turns out, market researchers are funding this. They just want to figure out how to get women to buy more clothes and think they found an answer through our cycles. The study author concludes: "Our findings suggest marketers for many types of female products are well served to strategically time their mailings, coupons, electronic solicitations, and direct requests to the specific window when women are ovulating."

So now I have to ask, how will they know their customers are ovulating? Most women don't even know when they are ovulating, and those that pay attention are not going to broadcast it to stores. And I guess women who don't ovulate just have to pay more? The idea that marketers are going to start timing coupons to our cycles just makes me laugh. Although if Ann Tay1or struck a deal with my clinic to give out coupons good on the day we trigger, I would take it.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Preparing for next time

OK, I am trying to stay positive, but I am a planner and want to be prepared in case it doesn't. I need advice on how to handle back to back cycles. My RE is fine with it, assuming the CD3 baseline is fine. But I am wondering if I have enough meeds. Right now I have 3 vials. This cycle I started at 1 vial each night and moved up to 1.5 vials each night. Assuming I don't start at more than 1.5vials, then I have enough to get to day 5, which should be long enough to buy more meds.

Of course, there is also the issue of whether we will do a back to back cycle anyway. According to my best calculations, the IUI would most likely happen the week my mom is in town to visit. We are purposefully not telling my mom about our treatment because she creates too much stress for me. She would sit in the room during the IUI if I let her and tell the doctor what to do. I am not taking time off work, so I should be able to go to appointments without her knowing. And since we have a spare bathroom, I can probably hide most supplies from her. The tricky part will be to hide the ovidre1 in the fridge. We will have to hide it pretty well because she is not shy about rummaging through our kitchen to find something.

November is not an option for us due to travel. And then the holidays will make our scheduling even harder. So if this cycle doesn't work and we skip next cycle, we are looking at a break until next year. Hopefully this is a moot point anyway.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Another time

I can't help but reflect on how different our three IUIs have been. Not so much because this was our first injectible cycle, but more because it becomes so standard. The first time, hubby and I spent the afternoon together to recognize our potential baby making going on. The second time, hubby did meet me at the doctor for the procedure, but there was no extended time together. Today, he didn't even come. I don't point this out because I am mad at him about it. In fact when he came with an apologetic face to say he had a busy day at work and won't be able to come, I was already assuming I would go alone. The newness has worn off. I think the number of appointments for an injectible cycle. Has sped up the feeling that this is a standard process and not anything to get excited about. Just another thing to fit in my schedule.

RE office

Visiting the RE's office is unlike visiting other types of doctors. Most notably, you know why patients are there. You may not know their exact story, but it's not like other doctors where patients can be there for anything from a routine checkup to a life threatening illness. That said, I am never sure how to act around other patients in the waiting areas.

The other day, I arrived at the elevator just as the door opened and several patients (for a variety of offices in that building) entered. A man was talking to a woman in a way that I assumed they were together. The man left a floor below the RE's office (which is the only thing on that floor, so at this point I knew where the woman was going). When the doors closed, she turned to me and let out a huge sigh of frustration and made it clear she was glad that creepy stranger was gone. I didn't know what to say because normally I like to be anonymous during dr appointments, but she was making a connection. That got me to thinking about whether us infertile should be bonding during our cycling visits.

And since I am on the topic of my RE's office, I'd like to give them some advice. They have quite an assortment of magazines in the waiting room, everything from Conceive to Car and Truck to Her. The juxtaposition may seem odd, yet it makes sense given the clientele. But they may want to remove the parenting and family oriented magazines. I hope they realize that their patients don't need another reminder of what they don't have. I didn't mind seeing the parenting magazines in my previous RE's office since she also had a general women's health practice, but this new place is focused on fertility. They might also want to tell the nurses who take blood what is acceptable banter while they are working. I have no problem with coworker chatting while they are taking blood from different patients, but since some of us may have been at this long enough to have a five year old, we don't need to hear how one nurse has a son who LOVED his first week of kindergarten.


IUI #3 (first with injectibles) is done. I guess everything went well. We had low motility, but the count made up for it, so the total ended up being 48 million motile sperm. I will be having a second HCG shot, so no testing until the 24th. I have a lot to distract me in the meantime, so I'm sure it will go by quickly.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Old friends

It's funny how people end up in your life and how your relationship with them changes over time. Way back in junior high, there were two people in my life, I'll call them Jack and Jill. Jill was actually someone, in my attempts to hang with the cool crowd, I wasn't very nice to in junior high. Jack and I had many classes together, but were not particularly close. Despite the fact that we did end up going out briefly in the junior high sense of going out where it doesn't really mean much.

Fast forward to high school. Jack and I don't interact much at all. Jill becomes one of my closest friends. (Begin long period of guilt for not treating her well before, but that's not what this story is about). As a close friend, Jill is one of the few people from high school I keep in touch with when we scatter for college. We would email and IM frequently, talk by phone every once in a while, get together when both back at home for holidays. Jill also stayed in contact with Jack and through her, I kept up with Jack's life and even reconnected with him a few times. There were times when I did think it was odd that of all the people I went to school with, he was one of the few that I followed what happened to him as time went by. Not that I followed him in great detail, but I knew the general contours. He came out of the closet and had a long term partner, moved around to a few different cities, kept up with his jobs, etc.

And then we entered the fac.eb00k era and suddenly everyone I ever knew in junior high or high school wanted to reconnect. I admit I was not always excited to read the daily lives of all these old friends. It may be nice to catch up once or twice, but honestly people move to dofferent places in their lives and you don't always want to go there with them. I will also admit to defriending some old acquaintances aftwr a few weeks on FB. But Jack was one person who I do enjoy connnecting with. Both because he has an interesting life (although if you are reading this, I'm not such a fan of all the location updates-I don't need to know how often you visit the grocery store), and more importantly because Jill has kept this thread alive between us over the years.

Anyway, the point of this post. Jack and his partner have adopted two children. It was a real pleasure reading their story and seeing all the ups and downs of the adoption process, from the perspective of someone I know IRL. There were posts that made me laugh, posts that made me cry from happiness, and posts where my heart ached for them. Their adoption was finalized this week and it was heartwarming to see how their whole family came out for their court date.

I don't know if it is watching this process or some realizations I had during our trip to Ireland, but I think I am opening up to adoption now. We had talked about it in the past, but always in a "I don't really want to, but would prefer it over IVF" type of way. I think now I am seeing how it could be a real viable option for us if this cycle or the next one or two don't work out. Not that I am feeling pessimistic about this cycle. I don't optimism or pessimism is a good way to describe how I feel, it is more hopeful yet realistic. I am trying to delay committing to my family's D1sney vacation attached to my brother's wedding next May just in case this works, but also being realistic about our chances.

And an update about this cycle, my lining is tripled striped, endometrium is 8.5. That sounds like good news. Even better news is that a second follicle has shown up on the right at 15mm. The lead follie is at 18 now. Still nothing on the left. I trigger tomorrow night for IUI on Tuesday.

Friday, September 3, 2010


My estrogen is 186, although I have no idea whether that is good or not. They are increasing my dose to 112iu, which means I need to figure out how to mix bottles. Did I mention I have a bruise on my side? I do bruise easily, but that is a place where you don't normally get bruises. I go back tomorrow morning.

Just one

One measly follicle is developing. Right now it is 14mm. Nothing else on the right. There appears to be something on the left, but still under 10mm, so not worth measuring. Just one. I don't know why I am shooting myself up every night because My body could have produced one by itself. Sigh.

Once they get my labs back they will let me know what the next steps are.
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